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Urban Freight Logistics

Promoting energy-efficient city logistics and innovative schemes for goods distribution that contribute to better overall urban transport

A significant amount of traffic in our cities is generated by the delivery of goods to shops, factories, offices, hotels, etc. These vehicles take up more space than cars and require space to load and unload.

The thematic group looks at overall strategies to create cleaner and better freight transport in cities.

Key areas of interest include: 

  • Low/zero emission vehicles for UFL
  • Best practices in UFL planning: SULPs, integration of UFL in SUMPs
  • Stakeholders' engagement, public-private cooperation
  • UFT data collection and management, and the role of ITS for UFL
  • Innovative schemes and business models for UFL: consolidation, e-commerce, sharing economy, (joint) procurement plans and actions.


The CIVITAS Policy Note “Making urban freight more sustainable” aims to raise awareness and increase knowledge of urban freight issues and challenges by providing a general overview of urban freight issues and definitions, as well as, indications of future trends. 

You can download the Policy note here.

More information

For more information on Thematic Group Urban Freight Logistics please contact Giacomo Lozzi

Join the group by clicking the blur banner 'Become a member' on the right-hand side of this page.

Tito Stefanelli's picture
Submitted by Tito Stefanelli on 24/04/2014

Give your contribution to Urban Freight Logistics Thematic Group!

Within the Urban Freight Logistics Thematic Group we are planning a series of Thematic Webinars with the main aim to provide to city planners and politicians an overview about the most common actions and activities (Best Practices) on goods delivery in our medium–sized city centres, for a more sustainable Urban Freight Logistics.

In fact, freight distribution is an increasingly important part of modern city-life. Most of our city centres are highly “infested” with freight delivery vehicles and they often cause severe congestion principally due to several stops along the way.

The need for city logistics is often a derived outcome of the new demands imposed by global supply chains on regional and urban landscapes. Since most of the goods consumed in cities originate from outside locations, urban goods transport is commonly referred to as the “last mile“ along a supply chain.

Until now, trucks remain the dominant urban mode as they are perceived to be the most suitable to service specific origins and destinations within the complex urban grid of streets. This cause a lot of negative consequences in term of congestion and pollution! In fact the “last mile“, considering the total supply chain, requires a shift to different distribution strategies more suitable to an urban context, often resulting in congestion, delays and additional costs proportionally higher than the distance concerned.

In this way we must think about a “sustainable urban distribution” and this concept must combines the maximisation of the economic efficiency of distribution in urban areas, while minimising the environmental and social impacts, taking into account the complete door-to-door transport chain.

The sustainability of cities cannot be re-viewed without due consideration to the role of goods transport.

Indeed, while a city can be perceived as an economic, social, political and cultural entity, urban freight distribution underlines the physical and managerial activities necessary to support all the activities linked to the distribution of goods.

However, compared to passenger transport, urban freight distribution has to a large extent been neglected by urban transport policy-makers.

So we have to re-think Urban Freight Logistic in our cities, introducing on one hand some restrictive measures for a more efficient freight distribution and on the other hand we have to introduce new “green“ vehicles more suitable for our historical city centres.

There are a lot of strategies/activities that that have been done during years in our cities. Some of them are listed below but this list is just one part of a big effort we might do in order to give more liveability to our cities.

The first webinar will be held at the end of May with the main topic: clean and efficient green vehicles for Urban Freight Delivery.

Considering this group as a living laboratory, please give your contribution highlighting some best practices and examples on green vehicles for Urban Freight Logistics.

Join the Urban Freight Logistics Group and meet your peers @ to discuss on green vehicles for urban freight delivery.


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24/04/2014 - 11:02

The CIVITAS Secretariat invites CIVITAS Forum cities to enter the 11th Edition of the CIVITAS Awards competition.

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15/04/2014 - 17:08

The International Cargo Bike Festival celebrates its third edition on 12 and 13 April 2014 at Cultuurspinnerij de Vasim in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

The Cargo Bike Festival is the biggest platform for cargobikes and cyclelogistics in the...

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06/04/2014 - 11:07

The latest issue of MOVE, the quarterly newsletter of the CIVITAS Initiative is now available!

The seventeenth issue of MOVE focuses on the new CIVITAS Plus II cities by giving you the top news:

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02/04/2014 - 14:46

The first policy analysis focusses on the topic of clean buses. This is a hot topic because the introduction of clean buses is necessary in order to reach the EU air quality targets. This document gives in-depth background information to make a decision on which bus to choose.

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01/06/2014 to 03/06/2014
Cities for Mobility International Congress 2014 The 2014 Cities for Mobility World Congress will take place under the title "City on the move – Rethinking and implementing mobility" on June 1 to 3, 2014, at the City Hall of Stuttgart. Reasons why you should attend:
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21/05/2014 to 23/05/2014
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Giving back the public space to the people - Mobility measures in Vitoria-Gasteiz

In the context of the next CIVITAS study tour hosted by the city of  Vitoria-Gasteiz on the 196&20 June 2014, an interested document presenting the mobility measures implmented by the city has been created:  

The main measures presented:

  • Superblocks project;
  • Traffic calming measures;
  • Freight distribution areas and limitations;
  • New Public transport network;
  • Local Bicycle Mobility Plan.

Should you have any question, please contac:

Environmental Studies Centre of Vitoria-Gasteiz

Asier Sarasua Garmendia



DG MOVE European Commission: Study on Urban Freight Transport

The aim of this study is to review existing and planned practices and measures relating to the urban section of the freight transport chain across the Member States of the EU with a view to determine whether, to what extent and in which form, action at the European level can be envisaged to promote successful solutions and improve the performance of freight transport.

Planning and Design for sustainable urban mobility – Chapter 4 URBAN GOODS TRANSPORT

Urban goods transport, also known as urban Freight  distribution, concerns a vast range of activities insuring an adequate level of service for a variety of urban supply chains.

This document reviews the trends and conditions of goods transport in urban areas, both within the formal and informal sectors. It outlines the fundamental contribution of goods transport for urban life, and points to the externalities generated by the sector.


CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE: Urban Goods Transport

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE: Urban Goods Transport

Third CIVITAS MIMOSA Policy Statement 2010 on Urban Freight Distribution

Policy Advice Note Logistics

Policy Advice Note Logistics

Policy Advice Note Logistics

Policy Advice Note Logistics

Policy Advice Note Logistics

Policy Advice Note Logistics

Policy Advice Note Logistics

Cluster Report Logistics and Goods Distribution

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